America snoops to not conquer
Is the latest in the string of revelations about the United States-sponsored worldwide snooping programme even remotely shocking? While reports suggest that America uses its embassies and consulates as nodal points in a gigantic network of global spying, sparing none of the top world leaders, including those at the helm of affairs in the supposed allies of the US, such as France, Germany and United Kingdom, the shell-shock with which the European Union is reacting to the disclosures is strangely discomfiting, being both tragicomic at one end, while bordering on hypocritical at the other. Naturally, America’s treating the world as its digital backyard and its transformation from Uncle Sam to Peeping Tom are hardly novel phenomena, but what is indeed new is that now the brunt of American hounding and pushing around through indiscreet and extremely discriminating foreign policies is being borne by the traditional US ally, Western Europe as a whole. It has now surfaced that the US leaves no stone unturned, and that the National Security Agency has been electronically spying on the phone conversations of as many as 35 of the biggest world leaders, according to the latest leak passed on by NSA squealer Edward Snowden.
Evidently, now that the top European powers have sat up and taken notice of the US indiscretions, with Germany and France going ballistic over the disclosures, we can expect some heads to roll and faux explanations offered by the US to soothe the flared nerves of the Western powers. While France and Germany now want new rules for ‘intelligence relations’ and demand bilateral talks to ensure immediate stoppage of the pervasive snooping, with some ‘do’s and don’ts’ for the secret services, where was this indignation when similar revelations hot the global headlines but pertained to developing nations such as India, Mexico and the Latin American countries? Clearly, the European umbrage at being spied upon, while being wonderfully self-righteous and justified, is equally indicative of the ingrained double standards in unequal diplomatic relations between